The 3 Reasons You Love Ryan Gosling, and the Dresses You Should Wear When You Get Saved By Him.

Oh, is it Friday already?  Wow.  Ok, first things first……. shout out to my pops, whose bday is today.  Happy Birthday, Dad.  I love you like a daughter. ;)  You really are the best.

Ok, so this morning I saw something PRETTY FUTHER MUCKING INCREDIBLE.

{Continue reading…}

Love all of this...

CASUAL CHIC DIY WEDDING + SEXY BABIES? | Succulents + Tats + Fights + Goats = This Killer Wedding. Also, Open Letter to Toddlers & Tiaras By Me & Tom Hanks.

↑ the “fighting” part of the title… ceremony fan creatively used as weapon – but flowers are no defense!  someone tell him!

Happy evening, peoples!  What is it, like 10:45pm EST?  Whew, YEAH it is.  Today was sort of, umm… today was pretty busy, y’all.

I just wrapped up taping The Bachelor which means I have been AVOIDING TWITTER AT ALL COSTS, so if you happened to {Continue reading…}

Love all of this...

SEASIDE GLAMOUR + I NEED HER DRESS | fuchsia + mint + white delight | Plus, The Bambeen… and I need a little advice from you guys. Also, holy crap I’ve lost my mind.

Second verse, same as the first.  I have to warn you, yet again, that today’s post got so out of hand I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU.  I’m afraid even to read it over for spelling and punctuation.  I fear my own rampant oddness will get the best of me, like two parallel universes (universi?) colliding.  I’m scared.  Please, hold me.

Yep… happy late afternoon on Friday, friendlies.  Please, BRACE THYSELVES.  {Continue reading…}

Love all of this...

TOP DRESS PICKS, COLOR EDITION | Lessons from The Knotty Mommy on How to Look Pretty, Even When You’re Not *Feeling* Pretty {Help with Your Bridesmaids’ and Your Personal Style Choices}

It’s about midday here in nyc and there’s really only one thing dominating my mind on this sunny afternoon.  {Continue reading…}

Love all of this...

FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS™ | JUNE 25 | I Need These Dresses, Perfect Wedding Heels, Free Printable Save the Daves, Lingerie, Badgley Mischka, a Mod Wedding, Music, & Next Week!

↑ Love, right?  Deets to follow ↑

Happy Friday, my good friends!  I hope you’re havin’ a good one so far.  Me?  Well, this week was three parts hella-busy and one part I-had-no-free-time, but also one part I-fell-in-love-with-a-new-site called “Stereomood.”  If you loooove music but you haaaaate a) having to arrange mixes that’ll fit your mood and b) having to wade through the muck only to hit your skip limit on Pandora too soon, then you’re gonna love this find.  (It’s that favorite one I mentioned yesterday.  This thing is on like all the time for me.  I lovingly refer to it as my life soundtrack.  Btw, currently obsessing over the “it’s raining” playlist.)

In other news, I’m just psyched beyond all recognition to show you the Finds I have for you today.  But first, quick recap: as most of you know, I’m going to be away for the better part of next week (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here).   {Continue reading…}

Love all of this...

ATTENTION KNOTTY READERS: It Begins… { guest bloggers, proposal stories update + summer dress picks! }

Lynx & Leo Dress

A bunch of HUGE things are going on over the next week or two.  I shall itemize them now.

(… But I shall also pepper in my hottest dress picks for summer, because who doesn’t love that?  A good read (if I do say so myself) + the cutest dresses ever = a great blog post, in my estimation.)  Ok, DRESS PIC TIME!

Jackie Paper Dress

-♡-

Item #1:

Your proposal stories are b for bananas.  I really don’t know how else to describe them.  They are just making my YEAR right now.  They are so awesome that I need to pursue a column in a wedding or style magazine where I can feature them regularly because that’s how much they rule.  And guess what?  Set your watches (my 6th grade mathlete buddies) because the series is set to start in a couple of weeks.  I know you guys are dying to see them up in lights and believe me, I am dying to bring them to your neck faces.  DRESS PIC!  … {Continue reading…}

Love all of this...

SOUTHERN BRIDE WITH SERIOUS STYLE {Plus: our Dad’s Day & the best parenting advice I’ve ever read…}

Happy Monday, you crazy kids.  How were your weekends?  Do anything special?  Fiancé and I spent a nice, calm summer day with my Popsicle et al and, all in all, it was pretty relaxing.  (Plus, I made a cake!)  By the way, to all the brides who got married on Father’s Day: I couldn’t imagine a more wonderful gift to your dad than to let him walk you down the aisle on such a meaningful day.  Both my Dad and I are major proponents of the idea!  So congrats to any of you who got hitched on Sunday – well played!

(Like the shoes?  You might love the Badgley Mischka Randee featured in this post.  Btw, if you like ruffled things, here’s my fave quilt EVER.)

Alright, today I’ve got a couple of things I thought I’d share with you, the first of which I’m going to pepper in throughout all the chatter of the second one…

So, number one = totally stylish bridal look inspiration, as photographed by the endlessly creative genius that is Elizabeth Messina and;

Number two = details about how my Dad spent his Father’s Day.  Plus, I’ve got a comment on good parenting at end of this post.  Well, more like an excellent quote on the topic.  Not that you care, but I’m sharing anyway.  (;

* * *

Ok, I am obsessed with this bride’s style, and think you might be, too.

* * *

Back to Dad’s Day… some of you might remember that little bit of unsolicited advice I dispensed about Father’s Day at the very end of this post right here; well, I like to make a habit of taking my own medicine, which translates into the kind of Father’s Day we gave the ol’ patriarch.  So, how did he spend his day?  Exactly the way he wanted to (most activities done with his loving wife by his side):

-watched his morning news programs
-watched Italy and New Zealand end in a tie
-went for a walk
-had a heart to heart with his kidsters
-took a shower
-went to a friend’s barbeque
-got heartwarming cards and calls from each of his kids
-watched a bunch of golf
-took a break to have dinner with us
-watched the end of the golf
-had an amaaaaazing black and white (choc/vanilla) cake with sprinkles, made by yours truly
-then we had him listen to this
-then he went for another walk, during which he thanked his wife (my Mom) for giving him wonderful children (which she did, thank you very much).  Awwwwwwww.  Right?
.

Sprinkling in more shots of the bride and this unbelievable wedding!


.

Gorgeous.  You MUST check out more on Elizabeth Messina‘s blog, Kiss the Groom.  You MUST.

* * *

Because yesterday was Father’s Day, and because proper parenting is so important and so little advice is given to those who don’t actively seek it out, I thought today would be the perfect day to include a passage my fiancé brought to my attention.  It’s by the great Kahlil Gibran, author of “The Prophet.”  I don’t have kids, so I’m no authority by any stretch, but I’ve got to believe this is one of the smartest bits of thought on the subject of parenting, imo:

-♡-

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends with you His might that His arrows might go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

~ Kahlil Gibran

Hope you enjoyed both bits of this post!  I’m curious, what do you think of today’s bride’s style?  Are you into the ruffle-mania, the statement headgear, the whole shebang?  Share your thoughts, either way!

xoxo!  -Alison

{Credits: Sweet southern nuptials via Elizabeth Messina‘s Kiss the Groom}

Love all of this...

FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS™ | June 18 | bouquets, DIY ruffle shirts + cakes + plant centerpieces, ring shots, bridesmaid clutches + vote!

Happy Friday, everybody!  Ok, let me just get something out of the way real quick.  May I ask a hugetastic favor?  If you think I deserve it, please take a sec to let ‘em know over at the Wedding Channel that The Knotty Bride is one of your favorite Real Bride Blogs.  (The more votes, the better chance I have of winning!)  If you don’t mind, of course.  Pretty please?  You would make my year!  Thank you like crazy!  (If you do enter me and you feel like letting me know, go for it and, of course, I’m totally writing you back and thanking you to the high heavens.  My gratefulness knows no bounds.)

* * *

Love that, right?  Me too.  It’s one of the Finds, today.  (:

Ok, let’s get going!

First off, this kind of rules.  I think it’d be such a fun little project to do at your tame bachelorette party.  Personally, if it’s strip club vs. ruffle shirt projects, I think I’ll opt for the ruffle shirt every time.  {Continue reading…}

Love all of this...

I ♥ YOUR PROPOSAL STORIES! (Also: promoting the blog & more wed obsessions!)

More on that loveliness in a few…

PROPOSAL STORY SUBMISSIONS

(Note: stories still being accepted)

Ok, so let me just say that the response to this has been AMAZEBALLS.  (Thank you, Michelle Ward, for turning me on to that one, by the way.)  I mean, I knew you guys would be into it, and I also knew you all had some pretty amazing stories to tell, but HELLO.  My inbox is flooded with heartwarming, well thought out, totally surprising, totally inspiring proposal stories that had me sitting on the edge of my seat yesterday with a tissue box at the ready.  And I have to say – the most surprising thing of all, so far?  The stories that have come in from the guys out there.  I don’t know how you came upon the site, where from or who recommended you visit, but I am SO GLAD YOU FOUND ME.  Because your proposal stories/photos/videos are RULING.  And by the way?  The stories I’m getting from all my females out there are equally as awesome – please don’t get me wrong, ladies.  I just felt compelled to give a z100 shout out to the fellas submitting their love-laden stories to the blog.  I didn’t expect it and it has made my year!  (Seriously, just wait until you read/see/watch these things.  I cannot wait to share them all!!!)

* * *

MARKETING & FIANCÉS

Fun fact: the fiancé has been mostly a back-end guy (SHUT UP) when it comes to the site here.  However, recently he’s been trying his hand at a little TKB promotion.  He asked me some time ago for a handful of my business cards, with the intention of handing them to engaged girls near his workplace.  Every day he says he sees ladies with huge rocks on their fingers and he calls them all “missed opportunities.”  (In a business sense, not a nailing sense, obvs.)  He’s really serious about this, and because I admire his business sense, and have always felt I can trust his public and interpersonal appropriateness, I thought, hey, why not?  It’s not my first choice marketing approach, but he certainly wasn’t reinventing the wheel.  Well, last night I saw him in action…

Scenario one: He spies a young woman with a ginormous engagement ring.  STOPS in the middle of the crosswalk.  RUNS TO CATCH UP WITH HER.  She’s listening to music and walking briskly.  Taps her on the shoulder and somewhat smoothly shoves the card in her face.  RUNS AWAY FROM HER AND BACK TO ME.

Scenario dos: notices a young couple sitting a couple tables away from us at dinner.  Asks me: “can you tell if she’s wearing just an engagement ring, or both an engagement ring and a wedding ring?”  Me: “Why.”  Him: “You know why.”  I’m already a little wary of what’s about to go down, but I decide to go along with it, and I peer over to check her finger.  It’s dark, I’m half-committed to the operation anyway, and so I can’t make out anything.  Me: “Can’t tell.”  Him: I THINK IT’S ONE… I’M GOING FOR IT…”  Me: “No… wait, WHAT?  No… ok fine.”  (He’s already up when I say ok fine.)  She gets up, he asks her if she’s engaged or married… WEIRDED. OUT.  She says, “umm… I’m married.”  He still gives her the card because how weird would that have been if he just walked away from the scene?!  Card wasted? check.  Girl sufficiently weirded out? check.  Valiant, if misguided, effort by the fiancé? check.

I took the remaining cards back.  Actually, I didn’t have to say anything – he handed them over.

I am rethinking this approach.  But even more, I’m waiting for these girls to leave comments on the blog.  I expect they will go something a-like a-this:

“umm, hi alison, I like your site, I’m glad some random dude accosted me on the street/while I was enjoying dinner with my husband in a restaurant and shoved your card in my face.  I know I gave him the dirtiest of looks when he turned around, but your business card is kickass and I just had to visit.  So all in all, a win-win!”

* * *

And now, since it was such a big freaking hit yesterday:

THINGS WITH WHICH I’M OBSESSED, PART DEUX

Remember that headgeartastic shot I threw in at the top of this post?  Here’s some more amazing amazingness, from Andrea and Marcus of Tag7 Photography

And a lil more…

Headpieces: Twigs & Honey
Dresses: KirstieKelly Bridal Sarah Seven
Shrug: Elizabeth Dye
Hair & Makeup: Erin SkipleyLauren Napier

-♡-

Ok, I’m about to g0 heavy on the Tec Petaja love today, because, well, he is phenom.  So here we go…

Yep, he took this shot:

Satin belt: J. Crew / “Julianna” Dress: Christos / Photo: Tec Petaja / via WeddingBee

-♡-

Here, by the way, is the Julianna in all its runway glory:

-♡-

Watermelon Moon Farm- Lebanon

Obsessing over that sweet lil white frock she’s sporting.  Obsessing.

Watermelon Moon farmJoy Thigpen EnvironmentsOncewedLiz AgricolaB. Hughes

-♡-

Details- Part II

Quick reminder that Father’s Day is June 20th this year.  So if you’ve got a Hubby or Popsicle (that’s what I affectionately call my Dad; yeah, you can steal it) who deserves a little special treatment, DO SOMETHING for him.  No pressure.  But keep in mind the fact that the World Cup games may be slightly more important to the man than family time in a cabin upstate.  Just sayin’. She learned the hard way.

xoxo!  -Alison

I almost forgot to ask: what are your thoughts on today’s obsessions – any standout faves?  And if you don’t feel like talking about that, then what are your plans for Father’s Day, if any?

Love all of this...

FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | June 11 | Part IV ~ obsessing over these wedding day details…

This wedding has made me fall deeply in love with the idea of having a wedding.  Don’t get me wrong; I adore weddings in general (I mean, YOU KNOW THIS).  But this wedding makes me excited for every bride who gets to design her day with awesome vendors and an awesome husband and what is clearly awesome design-mindedness.  But really, it’s the dreaminess of the pictures that did it for me.  Dreamy, ever-so-slightly-out-of-focus photos are soooooooo the number one thing in my book (aside from making sure you love the person you’re marrying, but that goes without saying… or does it?).

And by the way, her bridesmaids = ADORABLENESS.  Their shoes = ADORABLENESS to the MAX.

And now for some serious detail action:

Moko & Yovita Wedding // Photography: Axioo // via Gwyneth Paige

If you’re good, I’ll bring out another… (;

Love all of this...

UNIQUE E-SESSION LOVE | sara + dustin | Photos: Blue Dandelion Photography

Today’s fabulous e-session is a triple threat: we’re dealing with one incredibly talented photography team, a reDONKulously rad couple, and a particularly useful lesson in keepin’ it real, e-session-style.  Ya heard?  Ok, put on your raincoats.

.

You know what today’s couple has?  The right idea, that’s what.  When Doug and Courtney – the husband and wife team of Blue Dandelion Photography – sent me the e-session of Sara and Dustin, my excitement dial went from zero to eeelevuhn within seconds.  It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for balloon action.  But make ‘em all different colors and then you’re just spoiling me.  As if that wasn’t enough, what really got me going was the unique approach the couple took to their shoot.  It made me think to myself, “self, this couple knows what it’s all about…”

.

As you’re about to see, this shoot is dripping with playfulness that screams of a couple comfortable in love. Ok, here it comes…

(… Uh-oh…)

* * *

Before the big reveal, check out what Doug and Courtney had to say about the couple and the plan:

For Sara and Dustin, they approached us in spring after their friends signed on with Blue Dandelion.  They are instantly excitable (in the good sort of way), and Sara has this ability to glean laughter from the most subtle points.  When we discussed their engagement shoot, they really wanted to take it in a different direction.  She said, “Dustin and I, while totally in love, are not the overly romantic type.  We were hoping our pictures could highlight our ‘goofy’ side.”  What could be more fitting than balloons, be it filled with air – or water!  We simply had a blast doing the shoot, including dodging cars (unsuccessfully) early on, crawling around storm drains and down railroad tracks, and concluding with our waterworks.

* * *

Ok, here’s the money shot!


WHAM!  Excellent shot, girlfriend!

* * *

I love how keeping it real for these two has very little to do with romantic poses and everything to do with having massive amounts of silly fun with one another.

Now, SERIOUSLY, how many girls do you know who are willing to get soaked during their ENGAGEMENT SHOOTS?  Some of you may be thinking, “I’d so be game for that,” but really think about it.  … Would you?  I’d like to think I’d be down, but I honestly don’t know.  And that’s why I love Sara.

.

I don’t know these two personally, but I have a feeling we’d make fast friends. Any girl who doesn’t mind getting her hair a little wet while getting her picture taken is a girl I admire.

* * *

Moral of the story: stay true to you and what you want/who you are as a couple, and everything will work out just as it should.  Also, water balloons make for AMAZING E-SESSION PICTURES.  I mean, how much do you envy these photos?  I now officially need to experience a shoot like this; I don’t think I have a single photo of myself completely soaked and I have an inexplicable longing to change that now.

.

So, what do you guys think of this shoot?  Are you digging the “let’s just have a load of fun today” approach this couple chose to take?  Would you water balloon it up for your shoot?  I’m dying to hear your take on this, whatever it may be!!!

xoxo!  -Alison

Love all of this...

E-SESSION LOVE | whitney + mike | Photos: SimplyBloom Photography

Ok, first things first: thank you guys SO MUCH for all the rad feedback on yesterday’s post.  I don’t know if you realize this, but when you comment and tweet (and even email me!) with your individual doses of love re: an idea I’ve shared or story I’ve told, it just makes my freaking day.  Don’t think I don’t check the comments and click my Twitter name to see who’s mentioned me, because I do.  And the great thing is that each time I do, I’m reminded yet again how lucky I am to be a part of such a positive, supportive and inspiring community of people.  If you were here right now, beside me, I’d kiss you full on the lips.  Nothing weird.  Just a passionate kiss between friends.

Ok, on to the main event…

Want a beautiful, heartwarming e-session?  Awesome, I just happen to have one right here.

Vania and Christine, the fabulous femme photography duo {Continue reading…}

Love all of this...

FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS! | June 4 | perfect gowns, hippie chicness, sparkle-town, DIY desserts + the coolest favors EVER

Hello and happy Friday, everybody!  How we doin’ today, eh?  Doin’ well?  I sure hope so.  The weekend is upon us, so that means fun in the sun if all goes according to plan.  Anyone have any interesting plans for the ol’ Sat-to-Sun?  Me, I kinda feel like hiking again.  You discover really cool things when you hike, like wedding venues.  Yeah, totally serious.  The boy and I plan to re-scope out this random beautiful joint upon which we stumbled while on a hike just north of the city a couple of weekends ago.  I shall report back once the verdict on its quality is in.  (:

Anywho, while we continue working out our server switcheroonie, as some of you have coined it (which I love and have now adopted), I thought I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring some seriously fabulous finds I managed to scoop up this week.  So, here we go!

First up, a few killer details from one seriously UN.BE.LIEV.ABLE wedding, as photographed by – who else – Max Wanger, and featured on 100 Layer Cake.  Le sigh.  I shall dream about this beach wedding forever and always.  Its colors, textures and characters (of the human sort) are the stuff of inspiration shoots, not real-life weddings.  So this rocks it to the fullest.  And by the way, PERSONALIZED BEACH TOWEL FAVORS ALERT!

Bridesmaids gowns: Rachel Pally

You wanna know where they got those rad beach towels, right?  Well, their Dutch artist friend Parra designed them; the invites, too.  And here’s where they got the towels made.  You’re welcome.

-♡-

Ok, this wedding featured on Style Me Pretty straight-up-now-tell-me blew me away.  But most weddings involving horses (not pictured here) tend to blow me away, because, I mean, how did they get horses involved in their wedding?  You know?  It seems so involved.  Do these people own horses?  Do they find a horse – I dunno, farm, and shoot there so that it looks like horses attended their wedding?  Does the New York Times write, “the wedding was well-attended; also, they had horses” because you can’t ignore the horse-factor.  It’s a huge factor.  It’s the elephant at the wedding, essentially.  (Can you tell that I’m up way past my bedtime right now?  It gets crazier and crazier.)

By the way, obsessed with the bouquet.  Obsessed.  It’s sort of EXACTLY RIGHT.

Not to mention zee shoes:

Photography: Aaron Delesie

-♡-

My good friend Melissa, of The Loveliest Day, made quite a stir in her new role blogging for Ruffled with one seriously sparkle-rific wedding dress… and not to mention super hunky groom.  Super.  Hunky.  (Massive congrats, Melissa!  Sooo freaking awesome.)  Here’s a lil taste of the fabulosity that awaits you.

Credits, courtesy of Ruffled:

Ceremony Venue: University of Western Australia / Reception Venue: Table 78 Restaurant / Photographer: Anna Rose Photography / Bride’s Dress: Rachel Gilbert / Bridesmaids Dresses: Gown Gallery / Flowers: Code Bloom / Cake: Choux Cafe / Celebrant: Jenny Carkeek / Rentals: Perth Outdoor Ceremonies

-♡-

Coveting the incredibly laid-back but terrifically chic style of this bang-sporting bride.  And just LOOK at that sassy feather statement necklace she’s got on!!  Does it NOT fit perfectly with that gown?  J’adore.  Plus, you guys know how much I love a good bang!  Hair, we’re talking hair.  (… But I like the other kind, too, obvs.)

Photography: Laura Heffington / Oregon Beach Wedding featured on OnceWed, who discovered it on Frolic

-♡-

DIY dessert time!  Comin’ atcha face: How ’bout a cupcake in a jar?

The steps involved make me so want to do this project.

I don’t know about you, but for me, a red velvet cupcake + a mason jar = the cutest, tastiest thing possible.  I am loving this as wedding favors, especially with the spoons tied to the jars with – my favorite – baker’s twine!  Most of you know I have a love affair with the stuff.  (Yes, it’s under control now.)  I found this awesomeness over on With This Ring, and she found it, plus instructions on cakies blog!

Here’s the supplies list, courtesy of cakies, if you’re interested in trying your hand at these babies:

- round stickers (I did have to cut them down a bit to make it fit the top)

Pay a visit to cakies for the red velvet recipe!

Ooh, one more thing… you see the chic young lady at the tippy top of this post?  Well, her name’s Andi, and she has a blog.  On that blog, she posted the musical stylings of the fabulous Diane Birch, and I just seriously have to share this with all of you, if you haven’t already heard of her.  Because she’s a whole lotta wonderful.


Ok, I get that these are some pretty REDONK finds I’ve got here today.  They may in fact be so fabulous that deciding on a favorite is super way hard.  But whatev who cares – I really wanna know so I’m still asking.  (:

So, do tell: which of these is/are most inspiring to YOU?  Lemme know.  I can’t wait to hear!!!

(Hope you have a terrific weekend!)

xoxo!  -Alison

Love all of this...

FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS! | May 28 | Shoe Love, a Macaron Wedding Suite, a Free Download, Antique Brooch & DIY Knob Bouquets, a DIY Thank You, Outdoor Table Scape & One Delicious Wedding Dress!

Hey party people!  I hope you’re all having nice little Fridays wherever you are.  Memorial Day weekend fast approaches, and I’m sure you’re psyched to get out of the office and into a boat/bar/your lover’s arms/what have you.  But before you do, you might be interested to see what I’ve gathered up this week… (:

-♡-

Starting with the most phenomenal bouquet I’ve seen this week, featured on the Wedding Chicks!  And if you love this, you’ll flip for this.  Ooh, and all of these babies.

“He who holds the key… can unlock my heart.”

And I just had to include this pic, below.  Donuts.  They aren’t donut brooches, but they are very likely delicious.  So they’re a Find.  Period.

Featured on: Wedding Chicks / Photos: Hugh Forte Photography / Coordinator: Rachel Nickens / Catering: Bad To The Bone BBQ / Rentals: Signature Party Rentals

-♡-

Next, we’ve got a seriously lovely DIY cupcake wrapper made from doilies!  Yes, I know!  I’m freaking out over this:

Via Intimate Weddings

-♡-

Next up: a freakin’ spectacular DIY from my beloved Once Wed: DIY Bridesmaid Thank You Cards!

Project created by Amy Moss of Eat Drink Chic

-♡-

Next up, a wedding trend I wholeheartedly support, as featured on Elizabeth Anne Designs.  Black heels!!!  (Especially when they have cutey patootey bows right above the toes!)

Photo: Laura Ivanova

-♡-

And now for something extremely weird

Yes, that’s a cake dress.  And yes, it’s ridiculous.  Ridiculously AWESOME.

-♡-

Next up: Simple yet stunning table design for a lovely, intimate Outdoor Luncheon, courtesy of our friends at Lovely Bride!

-♡-

Up next we’ve got the greatest DIY this week, imho:  <– Writing “in my humble opinion” like that looks disturbingly like I’m admitting I’m a ho.  Which I’m not.  (… Admitting to.)

Anyway, I’m seriously in love with this DIY knob bouquet, which was featured on 100 Layer Cake and photographed by my two of my faaavorite girls, Christine and Vania of SimplyBloom!

-♡-

I’m really lovin’ on these “Drink Me” tags I saw over on my lovely friend’s blog, Marry You Me

-♡-

She caught sight of this free drink tag download on Truly Smitten, one blog I seriously adore… like, have dreams about at night kind of adore.  For reasons such as this…

A Macaron Wedding Suite!

Alright, that does it for the Finds this week!  I hope you loved them!  Please let me know which one’s your fave, by the way.  I am DYING to know what you guys think!

xoxo!  -Alison

Love all of this...

DIY WEDDING TO END ALL DIYS | Featured on: Style Me Pretty | Styling: Sitting in a Tree | Photos: Sarah Yates

I have to show you this, because it is a reason to live… if you look for reasons to live in your wedding blogs.  I hinted at its furious awesomeness in last week’s FFF, but it bears repeating and expanding.

The wedding of Junia and Andres, photographed by the amazing Sarah Yates, was featured on Style Me Pretty by Erin Lepperd of Erin Ever After, a very prolific partner in guest blogging crime over on SMP (not to mention, one of my favorite blogger broads)… and it is the end.  The end, my friend.  The end of any sadness, any inspiration drought you may be having, the end of suffering, the end of you doing any more work at your 9-5.  You’re done.  Because you’re going to stare at THIS for the remainder of your day.

Note: my Mom practically begged me to let her buy me those succulent candles on a trip to Crate & Barrel.  I didn’t let her because I didn’t have a need for them and because I’m crazy.  Aren’t they precious?

How much do you LOVE Erin for blogging that freaking phenomenal wedding?!!  A bushel?  A peck?  A hug around the neck?  I love her a barrel and an effing HEAP.  Thank you, Erin, for bringing me enough inspiration to last me through the weekend.  The wedding of Junia and Andres will be in my dreams – both the day and the night kinds.

* * *

Credits, courtesy of SMP:

Photography: Sarah Yates / Venue: The Woods Clubhouse, Chula Vista / Event Design and Coordination: Sitting in a Tree / Invitations and all paper goods: Andres Montano / Catering: MIHO Gastrotruck / Wedding Dress: Rosa Clara / Shoes: BCBG / Veil: made from tulle cut from dress during alterations / Groom’s Suit:  J.Crew / Tie: Band of Outsiders / Groom’s Shoes: Ben Sherman

↙ Update: it’s up!!!

By the way, you totally have to check out the rad-ass Portland, Oregon wedding feature I have going up on SMP today.  No, seriously.  No.  SERIOUSLY.  When it’s up (I’ll update this post), check it out, and then GO TO THE GALLERY.  It is sick.

xoxo!!!  -Alison

Love all of this...

LOVELY SHORT WHITE DRESSES | Teaser Turned Pleaser!

So, you know that dress I mentioned yesterday in my after-post thoughts?  The short and sweet sassy piece about which I was so excited?  Well, here it is… along with a few of its very close friends.  What do they have in common, besides awesomeness?  I = OBSESSED WITH THEM.

Here we go… and we begin with my beloved, aka the teaser dress, aka BCBGMAXAZRIA’s Strapless Floral Appliqué Dress, available at Nordstrom

The moment I laid my eyes on its floral appliqué, I was sold.  No really, I’m not kidding.  Many of you may remember the various times I’ve alluded to – or just straight out mentioned – my natural tendency to be a saver.  Well, when I saw this textured beauty, here’s how it went down: I clicked the link, added the dress to my “shopping cart,” entered my credit card information and completed the purchase, all in a matter of seconds.  NO HESITATION.  That was once unfathomable to me.  To my friends and family, even!  I didn’t think I was even capable of such reckless spending abandon.  But… here we are.

… And I couldn’t be happier.  (Of course, I’ll be sure to update you guys on whether or not that changes when the dress actually arrives at my doorstep.  Moment of truth awaits!)  FYI: I spotted this BCBGMAXAZRIA stunner on the lovely Nancy’s So Happi Berries!

* * *

Update: It came and I LOVE IT!!!!!!  Even the fiancé admires the texture and pattern of the material.  Which weirded me out more than it got me excited!

* * *

Here’s a recommendation: buy these ruffled heels ↓

Wild Diva Sailor 02 Black Satin All Ruffled Up Heel

-♡-

Miss Me Footwear Diva 14 Black Satin Zip Ruffle Heel


* * *

Ok, now for some dress action courtesy of my beloved LuLu’s!  We all know how much I adore this little online boutique and its excellent e-session-appropriate offerings.   (As evidenced here and here.)  Well, recently, I’ve been just as pleased with the lighter, more creamy-colored looks they’ve added to their delightful selection.

Two for Gelato Dress

-♡-

Sammy Dress from BB Dakota by Jack


Oh, and just for kicks, check this stache-tastic ring I found.  It’s called Doc Holiday. :)

You know you sorta want it.  In a “I totally don’t need this but damn that is the silliest ish I’ve ever seen.  I need it on my finger.”  (Conversation starter, at the very least?)

Hope you’re all having lovely starts to your weeks!  I’d love to hear your feedback on these picks; which look is your personal fave?  Thanks!

xoxo!  -Alison

Love all of this...

J.CREW IN THE CITY | What? I no longer have to order J.Crew gowns online, sight unseen? This is FABULOUS.

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you all had fantastic weekends.  We went hiking, which = awesomeness.  And afterward we stumbled upon the cutest little wedding location… more on that, later.  Now, on to more important things… like THIS:

Esmé satin platform sandals

-♡-

Have you heard?  I’m sure you’ve seen chatter about this, but do you know the unbelievable news, in full?  First this happened, and now this is happening ↘

That’s right; J.Crew is opening its very own Bridal Boutique, right in the heart of New York City.  This is kind of a big deal.  And here’s why: I love a lot of what J.Crew offers in its wedding line.  Like, overall, love it.  Love a handful of wedding gowns, looooove a lot of their bridesmaids dresses, and adoooore their bitty baby frocks (aka flower girl looks).  What do I hate?  That I CAN’T TRY ANY OF THEM ON.

I’m really looking forward to just plain loving everything about J.Crew’s bridal line, now that they’re opening a store at 769 Madison Avenue, right down the block from where I live – just kidding, I so don’t live on Madison Avenue.  But it’s a nice little ride on the train from where I’m located, and I will be taking that ride as soon as this boutique opens.  Hallelujah, J.Crew.  You finally opened a freaking bridal shop.  Jeez.  Took you long enough.  (Awww, you know I’m hard on you because I love you.)

* * *

Now, while I enjoy their bridal gowns immensely, I have a little news for you… it’s really their bridesmaids’ gowns that rock my socks off.  In fact, I think I’d even consider wearing one of them on my wedding day.  Whoa!  Yes, I know, weird.  (Well, really only if I did the City Hall thing.)  But seriously, if you take a look at them… well, they’re just gorgeous.  So I HIIIGHLY recommend handing each of your maids a swatch and sending them on their merry way to find the perfect dress for your big day.  Ooh, and some jewelry and shoes to match.  :D

(I feel compelled to note here that it’s a real shame they don’t put their magazine images online – pretty much none of these pics do the dresses justice.  Like, at allPlease order the catalog; so much better – so much more eye candy to eat up.  Believe me.)

* * *

Silk taffeta Clementine dress

Silk chiffon Taryn dress

Silk taffeta Lorelei dress


Cotton cady Madeleine dress

Jewelry!!!

Pearl and silk wrapped necklace – natural

More jewelry…

MORE jewelry!!!

Another shoe (!!!)…

This one’s the Nicolette strappy heel

* * *

So, are you interested in having a consultation (aka try-on-fest!) with one of their bridal consultants?  Great news: even though they’re not set to open until early this Summer, they’re already taking appointments.  Which is interesting to me.  Anyway, want one?  Just email Kate@j.crew.com!

* * *

xoxo!  -Alison

Ooh, I almost forgot! Two things:

1) For everyone who was subjected to my teaser about a certain “PERFECT GOWN” the other day on Twitter, fear not; I will be revealing this incredible find (not J.Crew, by the way) in the near future.  Quick hint: it’s got it all.

2) I found the CUTEST LITTLE SHORT WHITE DRESS the other day.  I’m seriously going to post about it this week, I think tomorrow.  It’s sooooo cute.  Just wait ’til you see it!!!!!

Love all of this...

REAL WEDDING [ENVY] ❦ ashley + derek ❦ Photos by Stephanie Williams

There are no words.

But I’m gonna try.

-♡-

Listen, if there’s one thing you all know about me, it’s that I’m never, ever, eeeeverrrrr at a loss for words.  I’m a writer; words are my friends.  But with this wedding, I’m struggling to keep my jaw off the floor long enough to form a coherent sentence.

Jewelry-wise, bouquet-wise, dress-wise, tan-wise, everything-wise.  It’s all chanting my name.  Alison.  Alison.  Seriously, if you were sitting next to me right now, you’d think I was touching myself, what with the oooohhs and aaaahhhs that are pouring out of my mouth.

I’m truly in awe of every last bit of this affair, and I will still be in awe in the days and weeks that follow this single post.  Because this is one of those rare moments when something that’s just too good to be true… is actually a real wedding.

I’m gonna say it – if I had to choose only ten weddings to take with me to a deserted island, I dare say with real conviction that this chic, stunning affair would be among them.  The design touches – and, more importantly, the brilliance that Stephanie Williams employs in documenting them – just straight up take my breath away.  This wedding turns the volume up to eeeleven.  It’s just that good.

Here are some words from Stephanie:

Ashley + Derek are two wonderful people!  They were married at the lovely Mary Star of the Sea church in La Jolla with reception at the Darlington House.  We had so much fun documenting their wedding day, which was filled with family + friends – lots of dancing and a little Southern flare! Stephanie + Heather from Amorology did an amazing job coordinating the days events and all the lovely decor! Amazing cakes + desserts by Sweet Cheeks Baking Company.  Gorgeous wedding dress by Anne Barge.  Flowers by KLF FloralBlue Breeze Band kept all the guests dancing! Delicious food by Tapendade.

You MUST head over to Stephanie Williamsblog to check out the rest of this wow factor wedding.  MUST.

I truly hope you love this one as much as I do!  But seriously, do you love?  I’m dying to know how you guys are feeling about this wedding.

Ooh, and quick note: doesn’t her dress look a bit like the white version of the Romona Keveza stunner I featured here (tippity top) and (OMG) here?  *Sigh.*  Totally obsessed.

xoxo!  -Alison

Love all of this...

FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS! | New Anthro, Table Numbers, Dress Love, an STD, a Cookie-Brownie, and a Lil Hot Tubbin’ Never Hurt Anybody…

Traces of Eyelet!

In A Twinkling Dress

Nueva Granada Necklace

For your bridesmaids? → Drifting By Dress

Obsessed with all of the above from my home away from home, Anthro.  I know I mention them a lot – would you like me to lay off a bit?  No?  Ok, full throttle on the Anthro it is.  …No one can say I don’t listen to my readers.

* * *

Love and Lavender has provided me with the first good reason ever (in my personal book, which is often a unique book) to have an over-sized bridal party.  The reason is in the pictures, by the way.  The awesome, awesome pictures, taken by Jamie Clayton

I mean, how much are you loving these shots?  I’m thinking they’re totally worth putting up with a gazillion panicky phone calls from your girls about hair the day of your wedding.

*Awww!*

* * *

Caught this unique vintagy find on a visit to Ruffled and died over the cuteness factor!  The idea, straight from Ruffled: vintage paper doll clothes as escort cards for a wedding! Am I blowing your mind?  Because it blew mine.  Creativity is the greatest thing in the world.  Truly.

{Vintage paper doll clothes on a clothesline via Kris Atomic by Aline Smithson found on Ruffled}

* * *

This next find, dubbed A Literary Garden and brought to us by the ladies of 100 Layer Cake also had me reeling.  The table number idea, executed by Megan Gray of Honey and Poppies, is so simple – and I don’t mean easy, I mean simple – but I don’t know if I ever would have come up with it on my own.  It’s definitely one of those great ideas you wish you’d thought of yourself!  Love it, Megan.  You’re a genius, literally. *snicker snicker*

{Desserts: Erica O’Brien / Photos: Jessica Claire / Venue: The Heritage Museum of Orange County}

* * *

Next up, some absolutely lovely wedding gowns from Neiman Marcus, which I discovered on Erin Ever After!  Apparently, most of them are below $750!!!  That’s kind of amazing… no, seriously.

* * *

And check out this save the date, made out of a FEATHER!!!  I mean, what?!  A feather?!  I found this gem over on Brancoprata, a fantastic blog run by one of my good blogger friends – not to mention one of my favorite girls in the world – Sofia!  Totally in love with her attitude and her style.  But obsessing over this, in particular:

{Images via Once Wed / Design: Duet Weddings / Photos: Jose Villa / Cake: Erica O’brien / Flowers: Kate Holt}

* * *

I’m thinking we end on a tasty, completely unrelated to weddings note.  Sound good?  Well, it certainly tastes good…

Yup.  That’s called a “brookie;” it’s a brownie-cookie.  Courtesy of the oven-lovin’ maven herself, Bakerella.  My question is: how do you eat just one?  How do you NOT eat the whole pan?  Seriously, I’m asking.  (People, I’m this close to licking the screen right now.  This close.  It’s settled; I’m baking these babies up over the weekend.)

Well, that about does it for Friday’s Fabs, my lovelies!  Fingers crossed that you enjoyed them as much I did!  I hope all of you are having nice little Fridays of your own.  Mine’s shaping up to be insane in the membrane.  I think I’ll need a dip in a hot tub by the time the sun goes down.  Anyone have a hot tub they’re willing to share?  Let me know.  Have suit, will travel.  Anywho, hope your weekends are filled with joy and hand holding, if you’re into that.  Try being into it, if you’re not, by the way.  You’re talking to a happy convert.

xoxo!

Alison


Love all of this...

WEDDING + RECEPTION DRESS LOVE | plus some hair ‘dos | The Long and Short of It…

Hello, and good morning, everyone!  Hope you’re having a pleasant little Monday so far.  And to all the mommas out there, I hope you all had a splendid Momma’s Day, yesterday!  A quick shout-out goes out to my Mom and my rad sister, Jenny.  They = fantastic mamacitas who make tasty margaritas.  Well, my sister makes the margies.  But my Mom and I loooooove drinking them!  Ooohhh I could go for a Jenny margie right now.  On the rocks, extra lime.  Wait, it’s Monday morning and these are my thoughts.  Baaaad, Alison.  Baaaad.

I’m gonna move from drunkenness to dresses, without skipping a beat…

Ok, honestly, I don’t know how any of you could possibly pick just one dress at this point in the game.  There’s just too much pretty out there.

You know the effect that Coldplay’s manufactured sound has on most of us?  The way it calms things down and gives us those occasional happy shivers?  These frocks have the same effect on me…

Center Stage Dress in Champagne

This is quite obviously today’s reception dress pick.  LOVE.

* * *

Now, for some wedding dress wow factor love.  FORM OF: Monique Lhullier !

{ Via Wedding Style Guide… }

{ Via Style Me Pretty… }

* * *

By the way, I have a couple of hairstyle comments/suggestions to make.

This:

… is how my dear mother styled my hair when I was a wee babe.  She worked it up into a clean bun, shimmied me into my dress, and called me Pebbles.  So, while I have some of the cutest baby photos you’ve ever seen, I can’t imagine wearing my hair in a similar style on my wedding day.  Of course, I’m biased – I don’t want friends and family I’ve known since birth reminiscing about my baby hair ‘dos while I’m to-having and t0-holding.  ‘Cause that would be what happened if I wore my hair like this.  Which I won’t.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

On the other hand, this:

… is AWESOME.  (By the way, I found both of these over at Elle.)  It’s really quite perfect for a laid-back, backyard affair… if you love ponytails but don’t want to look like you dialed it in on your wedding day.  Personally, I love ponytails (my go-to ‘do), and am always on the search for ways to change it up.  So, naturally, I love this.  Of course, it may err a little on the side of being too casual, so here, check out my top five tips for great wedding day hair if you’re looking for some fabulous ‘dos for your lovely lady locks.  ;)

xoxo!

Alison

Love all of this...

FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | chock full of treats | Couture Gown Love, DIY Table Numbers, Chocolate and Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Happy Friday, everybody!  I’m so excited about the Finds today, you have NO IDEA.  I’m gonna start with the most beautiful gown I’ve seen all week, bar none…

It’s called Bianca, by Alisa Benay; go check out Perfect Bound where I discovered this stunner, or pay a visit to Alisa’s website to see her line!

* * *

Next up, the most enchanting DIY project I’ve seen in weeks… embroidered table numbers by Maddy of Inspired Bride!  It’s so simple, so lovely.  I’m utterly impressed, and your guests will be, too.

* * *

This next great idea comes from Amy, the amazing force behind one of my favorite blogs, Eat Drink Chic.  I think each of your bridesmaids would absolutely adore receiving their own, personalized version of these thank you cards, designed by Leslie Lewis Sigler of Lilly & Louise!  Each is a watercolor wash paper silhouette of a dress!  Too cute.

* * *

This next find makes my mouth water and eyes light up.  We’re all familiar with the fabulous Elizabeth Messina; well, CHECK OUT THE CHOCOLATE BARS SHE HAD AT HER OWN WEDDING…

Yeah.  To die.  Steal this idea, PLEASE.  And send me a photo.  :)

* * *

And now, for the ultimate decadence… brought to you by none other than my beloved Tartelette

Vanilla Bean Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches!!!  Don’t you want to stuff those in your mouth immediately?  I do.  All three.

Now, the amazing thing about these tasty beauties is that their GLUTEN FREE, and I’ve never seen anything made without flour look so incredibly delicious.  Except, maybe these.

Aright, kiddies, that’s it for the Finds!  Which of these is your favorite?  I’m dying to know.  I have this sneaking suspicion it’s going to be the ice cream sandwiches, hands down.  But I could be wrong.  Let me know.  ;)

Have a delightful weekend, everyone!  Can’t wait to show you what’s in store next week.  Cannot.  Wait.

Love all of this...

I ♥ THESE LOOKS | Little White Dresses & Accessories for Your E-Session

I love fashion.  Now, I’m not one of those people who’s obsessed with it – ok I’m obsessed with it.  However, somehow I happen to be one of those extremely rare types who gushes over sleek, sexy cocktail dresses, dies for that perfectly embellished belt, and all the rest… but rarely if ever actually buys anything.  I have my Dad to thank for that.  That’s called genetic code, and my Dad invented the “save your money” chromosome (or whatever; I wasn’t a biology major).  He isn’t cheap, not at all, but he DOES NOT BELIEVE IN DISCRETIONARY INCOME.  Some of you may be thinking this is a good trait; that I’m lucky.  You think I’m lucky to be a born saver?  Tell that to my wardrobe.  Tell that to my three pairs of shoes.  Tell that to my “Winner” Brand black sneakers I got in 7th grade, because my Dad didn’t “understand why you need the Nike ones?  These are just as good.”  Yeah, you know who you can tell that to?  Each and every member of my 7th grade French class.  Because they all had a lot to say about those kicks and it didn’t have anything to do with how right my dad was.

As an aside, I learned something from my brand-less K-12 existence: when I have children, I will teach them to be good people, and I will not spoil the crap out of them.  But I WILL give them name brand clothing if they ask for it.  You may consider that a bad idea, but a little less suffering in those formative years never hurt anybody.  *The more you know.*

I digress… back to fashion love.  Sometimes… there comes along an accessory.  An accessory that reduces all other accessories to cheap whores, and makes me click “buy” without hesitation.  (Ok, without much hesitation.)   This accessory would need to be the perfect combination of absolute cuteness, real necessity and bang for your buck.  Enter: the belts and dresses within this post.  OMG.

See that belt up at the tippity top of this post?  That’s Ruche‘s wrap around a rose belt in swiss coffee, and it’s only $19.99.  I KNOW.  Here’s another shot of it:

I am obsessed with that belt, and even more with the ones that follow.  Any one of these is THE PERFECT ACCESSORY to add that extra bit of awesome to your little e-shoot sundress or wedding gown or what have you.  I’m always thinking about what will result in the best possible photos, and belts knock ‘em out of the park, without fail, my friends.  Anthro dresses have never done me wrong, either.  Here we go with the rest of my picks:

These belts restore my love for frilly floweryness.  (Not that it ever really left me, but I get fed up easily with frilly floweryness.  Only so much one can take.)

ruffles and frays flower belt in smokey gray $13.99

ruffles and frays flower belt in rosey pink ~ $13.99

symmetrically pleased belt in pure ivory white ~ $19.99

And my toes are really chilly right now because these two dresses from Anthro are knocking my socks clean off my feet.  I love them soooooo much.

Sure Lock Dress ~ $128

Camilla Dress ~ $138

Do you love, or do you love?

* * *

By the way, yesterday was my Dad’s birthday.  Which means my present to him is complaining about a specific childhood experience to the world, one that completely goes against the incredible father he is to me.  Aren’t I just the greatest daughter?!

Dad: I love you, man.  You are terrific… so terrific that it makes me tear up when I think about just how terrific.  That’s pretty terrific.  Happy birthday, Popsicle.

xoxo,

Alison

Love all of this...